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Brian Geisinger on if the Denver Nuggets are runaway winners in this NBA Finals

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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June 1, 2023 2:39 pm

Brian Geisinger on if the Denver Nuggets are runaway winners in this NBA Finals

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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June 1, 2023 2:39 pm

Brian Geisinger of 247 Sports previews the NBA Finals as they begin tonight and what the Miami Heat need to do to stop Nikola Jokic. He shares the small things the Heat need to look out for in possessions and how they mix things up on defense. Also, how much of an impact can former NC State basketball player Omer Yurtseven have in this series? 



Brian Geissinger joins us now because the NBA Finals are upon us and we got a cool soccer tournament in town and he watches all sports.

He may have even watched the NASCAR All-Star race at North Wilkesboro just because he grew up not too far from there. We'll see if we ask about that. BG, what's going on, dude? How you doing? I'm good. Good to be on with you guys. How's it going?

Alright. Is it even possible to name all the outlets that you write hoops for now? I feel like we got Pac Pride, Devil's Den, Inside Carolina. Did we write for some Virginia sites too? What else did we do this basketball season?

Yes. Shrieking the Lawn, which is the Vox SB Nation site for UVA. I've done some stuff just for SB Nation. Proper Demon Deacon Digest, which is the Wake 24-7 site. Fan-sided. Did some non-ACC basketball off-season content there.

After Jason Epps, it looked like he was going to go to NC State, then he picked Georgetown. The piece that was going to be on NC State, I ended up just looking around and seeing if anyone else wanted it. Shop it. Nice. Yeah, things are staying busy. I'm out here at the soccer tournament with

It's been a beautiful day out here as well. 365 days a year kind of gig. You used to write about all the ACC teams for one site, now you write about all of them for 15 different sites basically.

And then a few extras on the side. I will ask you if you've talked to Chad Oak, Joe Cinco, or Steve Nash, or celebrities like Austin DeLuce in just a minute. But I want to turn the attention to the NBA Finals tonight and ask you this. If the Nuggets are runaway winners, nobody's giving the heat a chance. My question for you is, if I put the over-under at two and a half championships for the Nuggets and Jokic in the next, let's say, eight years, are you taking the over and under?

Over or under? They haven't even won one yet. I'm giving them one. You said two and a half, right?

Yeah. Okay, I'll take the under, but I wouldn't be surprised if they won multiple ones. Jokic is just getting into the prime of his career. Jamal Murray entering the prime of his career. Michael Porter Jr., they have those dudes locked up and under contract. When the new CBA kicks into the NBA, it might be tougher to keep that kind of core together with three max contract players and finding the right things to put around them.

But with someone like Jokic, you're always going to have a top five offense and you're always going to have a guy that's basically unguardable and is designed to bend and warp defenses. So I'll say under, but I do think they're going to win the title this year. And if they win another one, that certainly would not be a surprise. But I like those odds if they're still going to win multiple titles and I can still hit the under.

So I'll go one to two, basically. Yeah, I thought setting the over-under at one and a half was too easy because I think everybody would say, yeah, they'll probably win this one and then win another one. But we've seen, I mean, Giannis has been at times the best player in the NBA for a season and you saw them win one and then you see how hard it is when the Warriors or Spurs, whoever's doing it at the time, seem to make it look easy. You forget that it is not easy, even if you start with a guy who might be the best basketball player on the planet.

So go ahead. And the other thing, too, is it's like, I mean, Denver could have had one already. Like Jamal Murray tears his ACL in April of 2021. Like maybe they win the title that year. Maybe they won it last year, you know, maybe they would have won it last year, but they basically didn't have their best player or their, pardon me, their second best player for two post-seasons. And Michael Porter Jr., their third best player, they didn't have them in the playoffs last year. So, like, Jokas carrying that team to the playoffs last season was incredible and he is why he won the MVP.

But yeah, like, it's nuts because they could very conceivably have one just to their names already, but they certainly seem poised to bag one here this season. All right, we've talked about it. We heard Eric Spoelstra talk about it. He didn't obviously give away some secret plan they're throwing out. He basically just said Jokas is unstoppable and we will try very hard against him, you know, what a coach is going to say. You are, dude, I mean, I could see you being the savvy mind on as an assistant coach to an NBA player, I mean, to an NBA head coach who does all the glitz and glamour stuff. And then he goes and he's like, all right, Brian, I need you to drop the defensive stop. It's like, is there a pattern in games that the Nuggets actually lost this year?

Is there at least a starting point? I mean, I was describing earlier about like when Kobe was at his best, you didn't come in saying, all right, we need to hold Kobe under 20. It was like, we need to make him work really hard for his 28 and hopefully it's not 40. You know, is there an even a starting point or a pattern for what has been most successful in slowing down Jokas in the Nuggets offense? I mean, it's not really like this has been, you know, they were the second best offense in the league this season in terms of points for possession. Obviously, they're even better when Jokas is out there in the playoffs, you know, as opposed to playing 36 minutes a game, he can play 42 minutes a game. So you're getting, you know, 90 percent of the game or whatever with this guy that basically every time he's on the court, you're getting good shots every time down the floor.

I mean, some of the small stuff for Miami, I would think one one of the things to be like if they're offense, if Miami can be efficient on offense as it was at times against Boston or hit shots the way they have just like make Denver take the ball out of the net. And don't let them get into their running gun transition game where they're dominant because even Jokas can rip and run. And like when Jokas is pushing the fast break, it's just like, you know, it's he he can pass like Magic Johnson. He can handle and he's seven feet tall and all this like those possessions are unstoppable. Right.

But assuming it does turn into, you know, you know, half court type flood fest. Jokas is just tough because it can't just be, oh, we'll send two guys at him, right? Because one, if he sees the same look, three straight trips down the court, he's going to destroy it. And he's the best passer in basketball right now or among them. So it can't just be load up on him. And I mean, I think some of the teams that have had success against him in the playoffs guarding him like the Lakers, you saw them play Jared Vanderbilt or Rui Hachimora on Jokas and then had Anthony Davis Rome.

Right. And had Anthony Davis be a helper and a guy that could just clog up the paint and close off the rim. But Miami can't really do that. Like, they're not going to put Kevin Love. I mean, I guess they could try to put Kevin Love on Jokas and have Bam Rome. But Bam, you know, one of the best defenders in the world is not the kind of rim protector that someone like Anthony Davis is. Well, he's just going to totally block every shot in sight and make big guys second-guess shots.

So, I mean, my guess is they'll put Bam on him. And that's a pretty good one-on-one solution. But Jokas is bigger and stronger than him. He can get off that little flip shot, that hook shot whenever he wants to. And if you send extra help, he's making the right pass. And just like there's really no good answer for the Murray-Jokas two-man game.

You can't switch it because they can punish the size mismatch on either side. You know, you could try to trap Murray, but if you put two on the ball, then Jokas just open on the pop or on the roll. Like, you've got to, I think they're going to have to mix it up a ton. They'll have to throw in some stone here and there. And then they're just going to have to give Jokas a lot of attention, I guess, and just hope that Denver's trying to funnel as many of those passes to their less good shooters. But they've got lots of good shooters.

So, I think it's going to have to be a collection of stuff. It's just Aaron Spoelstra just throwing, you know, junk ball defenses and then leaning on two elite defenders in Bam and Butler to be, you know, jamming up passing lanes and making things as difficult as possible. But no good answers, really. Five words for you. Secret defensive weapon, Omir Yurtsavin.

Let's see it. I mean, I was suggesting, I don't know what Spoelstra's plan is going to be, but like you said, it's going to have to be junk defense, mad scientist type stuff. And that's where I was like, maybe you, and I feel like the Heat are, you know, they know they're underdogs. I feel like they're going to be playing to stay in games and then have Butler and company just try and tough out a fourth quarter or, you know, figure out who's hot and hit three threes, you know, with four minutes to go. The other thought, too, would be like, can you use Jimmy, who's one of the best players in the world at drawing fouls? Like, could you somehow get him to, with enough pick and rolls at Jokic, get him in foul trouble?

Like, the answer is probably not. But if you could get four fouls on Jokic by the early third quarter or something like that, you know, my guess is that Denver would still roll with him. But like if you could get him off the floor, then Denver becomes a normal basketball team and not this unstoppable offensive force.

Yeah. But I want to see Yertsevin in there just to like throw three fouls, just to try and make, you know, what's his name, uncomfortable. And like you said, I thought this, too, is you can't give him the same looks.

He's like a computer. He's just, he'll learn and be like, oh, well, if y'all are doing this, then I'm doing this. And I do like the fact that the Heat, you and I have talked about this before, I am not a proponent of zone defense as a core-based defense.

But I like mixing up look. I think in college people should do it even more, especially with young guys play more like your man to man is your we need to stop defense and it's your identity. But your zone is more to just so that if somebody thinks they figured something out, they got to think about it again.

And so, yeah, I do expect Spoelstra to have some mad scientists, scientisty type stuff to throw at Jokic every now and then. That was always the thing in college that made Georgia Tech like a screwball team to play against with Josh Passner was there, right? Like that, like Jordan Tech would play zone on half the possessions, but it would be one three one zone.

Then it'd be one, two, two, then it would be two, three trapped. And it'd be like the new man to man switch. Like it always made sure to take the ultimate like they're going to try to drag the game into the mud and make you play your lower possession, lower scoring game.

It's like that's what Miami should be trying to do against Denver. I love that. Brian guys, you're joining us talking some hoops. He's also out at the soccer tournament for Can you give us, it's so 2020 to ask this now, but Austin Deluse gave us a little bit of it. But you're now there and games are going on. Can you give us a vibe check out at Wake Med Soccer Park? Like what's the scene?

I'm seeing on social media, like I said, I see pictures of Steve Nash playing soccer and Chiato Chosinko's out there. Are there just like a bunch of games going on there? Is it feel like a festival?

What does it feel like? It kind of is that kind of feel like they've got six fields set up for games. And there's probably, you know, three or four games going on at the same time. There's just like a cool mix of players. Like there's been some former national team players from both the men's and women's side out here. Obviously, you've got Steve Nash playing for Como, which is being coached by Seth Fabregas.

You play for Chelsea and Arsenal, the Spanish national team. Chris Paul was out here walking around with his kids earlier today, too. It's been just kind of like a fun, from the celebrity standpoint, I think it's been a lot of fun. Rexham are the team that's representing Rexham AFC right now. They are playing and, you know, based off really the success of Welcome to Rexham, you know, the FX docuseries, they've got a big internet, you know, USA fan base now. So there's a ton of people out here, you know, to cheer on the, you know, the Rexham Red Dragons that's representing Rexham AFC. So that's been really fun. And would you say for people that aren't here, but are trying to get a get a feel for everything?

Yeah, which I would check out social media accounts that, you know, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter for There's going to be, you know, wall to wall coverage there all throughout the weekend. That's all starting yesterday and running through the type championship game on Sunday, Sunday afternoon here at Wake Med. So yeah, great vibe. It's really fun.

There's lots of vendors for food and drink. And yeah, it's just been a really fun first day of matches so far. A soccer jamboree going out there at the soccer tournament. I couldn't believe the basketball tournament has been going on for like 10 years now.

Since I know you're basically running the tournament, I know, or the person who is running the tournament reports to you, Brian Geissiger. Can you can you pass on my idea of we need, at least when the championship game is played, if not before, we need the like World Series of Poker style. Just that we need the money sitting beside the field, the million bucks. I'd like it emptied out of the cases in a pile so that literally the team that wins can just go Scrooge McDuck into the pile of money after a win. So see if you can make that happen.

I think that's a great idea. You would like one of the other things they're doing here where like you've been a fan of the Elam ending in basketball. Yes, and they've used that for the All-Star Games.

We talked about this. Yeah, the TBT. Yeah, maybe you and Deluze talked about this earlier, but they're using a version of that called target score time to decide games at this event. So all games are decided by a goal, which is I think it's already created some like pretty fun drama in a couple of the early matches. It's super cool.

I love it. Again, I'm not one who says, oh, I don't want to gimmicky sports. I don't want to rush to rules changes. But I am on team, let's discuss rule changes and let's find places like this to try new things. And I think that's a perfect place to do it.

And I think it's awesome that they're doing it. We talked about a little bit earlier. I won't go through all the details. But like Brian said, the key is every basically you have a game winner every game instead of one team running out the clock. So a goal hits the back of the net. And at that point, somebody's in that.

And it's not necessarily like a golden goal situation. So we talked about the details earlier or you could go look it up, but it does create excitement in that sense. So very cool. You will be out there most of the weekend, I assume, my man, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. Really looking forward to the next few days. Should be a lot of fun at the TST here in Cary.

Very cool. Brian Geissinger, go check out the soccer tournament. Check out all the coverage that he's helping with for soccer dot com and all their social media accounts. And of course, enjoy watching the NBA finals tonight.

Brian Geissinger sometimes is too locked in to put out tweets about exactly what's happening, but he might give you some insight on the Twitter machine at B Geisberg. And I'm not watching NASCAR, but shout out to anyone who is doing that football and soccer here. Or pardon me, soccer or basketball, I should say. There you go. I appreciate it, dude. And we will talk to you soon. Enjoy the soccer tournament. Learn more at Chevy dot com. Find new roads. Chevrolet.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-01 17:07:44 / 2023-06-01 17:14:59 / 7

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